My Cup Runneth Over

From the desk of Teresa Jordan – If someone bumps into me while I am carrying a cup of coffee and I spill some coffee on the floor, you may ask why did that happen? I may be tempted to answer that it happened because I was bumped into, but the reason is actually that I had coffee in my cup. That is to say, if I were carrying lemonade, there would now be lemonade on the floor.

This reasoning caught my eye first when it was offered in a friend’s reflection, because I was only thinking about the cause being the external force. It seems an upside-down kind of logic that the reason for coffee on the floor is in fact the presence of the coffee.

The thinking here is that whatever we are carrying is what will spill out when we are threatened, challenged, overwhelmed or bumped. We get to choose what goes in the cup. I might say, for example, that my latest tirade about work boots filled with sand that are always in my path at home is about the work boot wearers. In fact, that tirade is spilling out of me, and it is because of that reality that I have choices. I can fill my cup with complaints, fear, negativity, and anger. Or, I can focus on problem solving, positivity, joy, and gratitude. 

We can keep what’s inside all under wraps in either case until we get bumped by a crisis, a setback or a small thing that is just one thing too much. Self care is so much more than the odd pedicure; it is about really focusing on what we are filling up on and making sure that it is not toxic to drink or to put into the environment.

When life gives you lemons… well, you know, fill your cup with that sweet lemonade, step nimbly over the chaos left at the door by the family that you love, and sip sweetness as you choose what you take next in your cup.

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on

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